ENTRIES TAGGED "medical"

Health IT is a growth area for programmers

New report covers areas of innovation and their difficulties

infofixO’Reilly recently released a report I wrote called The Information Technology Fix for Health: Barriers and Pathways to the Use of Information Technology for Better Health Care. Along with our book Hacking Healthcare, I hope this report helps programmers who are curious about Health IT see what they need to learn and what they in turn can contribute to the field.

Computers in health are a potentially lucrative domain, to be sure, given a health care system through which $2.8 trillion, or $8.915 per person, passes through each year in the US alone. Interest by venture capitalists ebbs and flows, but the impetus to creative technological hacking is strong, as shown by the large number of challenges run by governments, pharmaceutical companies, insurers, and others.

Some things you should consider doing include:

Join open source projects 

Numerous projects to collect and process health data are being conducted as free software; find one that raises your heartbeat and contribute. For instance, the most respected health care system in the country, VistA from the Department of Veterans Affairs, has new leadership in OSEHRA, which is trying to create a community of vendors and volunteers. You don’t need to understand the oddities of the MUMPS language on which VistA is based to contribute, although I believe some knowledge of the underlying database would be useful. But there are plenty of other projects too, such as the OpenMRS electronic record system and the projects that cooperate under the aegis of Open Health Tools

Read more…

Comment |

Democratizing data, and other notes from the Open Source convention

Health care track draws a small and passionate core

There has been enormous talk over the past few years of open data and what it can do for society, but proponents have largely come to admit: data is not democratizing in itself. This topic is hotly debated, and a nice summary of the viewpoints is available in this PDF containing articles by noted experts. At the Open Source convention last week, I thought a lot about the democratizing potential of data and how it could be realized.

Read more…

Comment |
Sage Congress: The synthesis of open source with genetics

Sage Congress: The synthesis of open source with genetics

Complex health problems are too big for a single team.

A conversation with Sage Bionetworks founder Stephen Friend about how open source can support a business model in drug development, the progress of current data sharing projects, and more.

Comment |

VistA scenarios, and other controversies at the Open Source health care track

The history and accomplishments attributed to VistA, the Veterans
Administration's core administrative software, mark it as one of the
most impressive software projects in history. Still, lots of smart
people in the health care field deprecate VistA and cast doubt that it
could ever be widely adopted.

Comments: 15 |

Health and Human Services finalizes meaningful use for electronic health records

This week saw the release of the final "meaningful use" criteria for the adoption of electronic health records by doctors' offices and hospitals. The catch is that they can't just install the electronic system, but have to demonstrate that they're using it in ways that will improve patient care, reduce costs, allow different providers to securely share data, and provide data to government researchers in order to find better ways to care for patients.

Comments: 3 |

Why health care is coming to the Open Source convention

This year for the first time, O’Reilly’s Open Source convention
contains a track on health care IT. The call for
participation
just went up, soliciting proposals on nine broad
areas of technology including health data exchange, mobile devices,
and patient-centered care. IT specialists and programmers across the country who have lost their employment or are just seeking new challenges will naturally be wondering what health care IT is and how they can get into it. A health care track at OSCon is, to start with, a natural way to serve our core audience.

Comments: 12 |

Report from HIMSS Health IT conference: toward interoperability and openness

The U.S. has a mobile population, bringing their aches and pains to a
plethora of institutions and small providers. That's why health care
needs interoperability. Furthermore, despite superb medical research,
we desperately need to share more information and crunch it in
creative new ways. That's why health care needs openness.

Comments: 7 |